Tue, Jul 24, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Outside TFAM, ‘OO’ installation creates a world of whimsy

STUDIOLIN’S interactive installation in front of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum encourages viewers to playfully engage with three bubble machines

By Christine Lin  /  Contributing reporter

STUDIOLIN, OO (2018).

Photo: Christine Lin

Two translucent cylinders, each up to three stories tall, loom over the outdoor plaza of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. A small, red sphere jutting out of the side of the structure emits a constant stream of bubbles, inviting passersby to stop and wander closer. Although the structure appears dull and uninteresting from the outside, viewers are instantly transported into a fascinating world filled with changing light, colors and shapes as soon as they step through the doorway.

OO is a temporary installation by STUDIOLIN made out of corrugated plastic sheet and metal scaffolding. The museum chose the piece out of 36 entries for this year’s Program X-site, which showcases work that blends art and architecture to encourage new ways of thinking about spatial relations.

This year’s theme is “In Progress,” as the museum recently finished a huge renovation. The architectural design studio behind OO was established in Taipei in 2014 with the motto “from establishing the general to reveal the specific.” The work aims to prompt viewers to reconsider past bodily experiences and question what is assumed to be open or public.

Standing inside OO, viewers feel as if they have left the museum and entered a futuristic construction site. An immense, cylindrical plastic sheet — reminiscent of a UFO — draws the viewer’s attention towards the sky.

The bare scaffolding, corrugated plastic and scattered containers of bubble solution give the structure an unfinished appearance, as if it was still in the process of assembly. However, while these materials are typically uninteresting when seen in construction sites, they are transformed into a captivating work of art when they reflect the sun’s rays and create a brilliant spectrum of iridescent colors.

Exhibition Notes

What: Program X-Site 2018: In Progress – OO

Where: Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM, 台北市立美術館), 181, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 3, Taipei (台北市中山北路三段181號), tel: (02) 2595-7656.

When: Until Sunday. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30am to 5:30pm and until 8:30pm on Saturdays.

Admission: Free for this exhibition

On the net: www.tfam.museum


According to the studio, these materials were specifically chosen because they bend light and generate different visual effects at varying times of day.

Within the installation are three bubble machines humorously named Bob, Kevin, and Stuart — just like the three minions in the Despicable Me movie franchise. Similar to the minions, each machine is shaped differently, and each has a unique mechanism for producing bubbles. Despite the heat and harsh steel scaffolding, the structure’s interior has a serene atmosphere.

The repetitive opening and closing motion of the bubble machine soothes the viewer as a single delicate bubble is released each time. STUDIOLIN placed the bubble machines inside the structures to give invisible air currents visible form. With each release, there is a moment of anticipation as viewers watch how the bubble will interact with its surrounding environment. The playfulness of the bubbles and the shrieks of joy they elicit from young children contribute to the site’s whimsical mood.

The ephemeral nature of bubbles makes OO a dynamic and engaging work of art. The installation will remain outside the museum until Sunday, and includes several interactive works of art, such as a sound installation accessible by QR code.

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